I recently read an article, “What I’d Tell My Teenage Self” comprised of career and life advice from staff members of the TED blog to (of course) their teenage selves. I began thinking about what advice the adult me would give to the teenage me if given the opportunity. As you’ll see below, I have plenty of wisdom I’d like to share with my teenage self. Chances are good though, that me as a teen would take one look at me as a 40-something year-old and ignore every word that came out of my mouth just as I did to all other adults in my life at the time.
Regardless, here are 18 pieces of advice I’d give to my teenage self:
1. No one cares if you have a zit or a cold sore or if your hair is less than perfect. They’re all too freaked out about their own zits to even see yours.
2. Nothing is as bad as it seems at 2 am. Take a melatonin and get some sleep.
3. Spend less time with your boyfriend and more time with your girlfriends. In fact, try not having a boyfriend for a while.
4. Take Shop class instead of Home Ec. You’re going to have your whole life to cook and clean. How often will you get to play with power tools?
5. Spend less money on clothes and more on concert tickets.
6. You’re smarter than you think. Demand more from your teachers, your school and your guidance counselors.
7. Take a test prep course for the SAT and go to the best college you possibly can. Work your ass off to pay for it. Do not settle.
8. You might want to consider antidepressants. That heavy, dark cloud that follows you everywhere is not normal teenage angst.
9. I know this is cliche but, please, please, please wear sunscreen at all times.
10. Your friends are going to leave you at The Cure concert so they can go party with the band. You have the car and a curfew so that’s OK. Grown-ass men who want to hang out with teenagers are creepy.
11. Your body is young, strong and beautiful. Do not spend another moment wishing it were different.
12. You are not awkward and uncoordinated despite how the grade school gym teacher made you feel. You can be athletic. Find a sport or physical activity you enjoy and stick with it.
13. Call your parents when you’re going to be late. They’re worried sick about you.
14. Do things you think you can’t do. Learn a language. Play an instrument. Surprise yourself.
15. I know you love Esprit clothes, but they’re essentially grown-up Garanimals. Remember, a true fashionista doesn’t dress in one designer from head to toe.
16. A light hand with eyeliner is always best and that asymmetrical bob is not your friend.
17. Your mom isn’t going to be around as long as you think. Spend more time with her. Judge her less. Ask for her advice.
18. Aquanet will deplete the ozone layer. Put down the hairspray. Bigger is not always better.
How about you, readers? What advice would you give your teenage self if you could?